Remember that the number three is a Messianic reference. This third-year tithe is a reference to the Messiah: His sacrifice, God’s acceptance of the Messiah’s sacrifice and, from that point, God will make those who accept the Messiah’s sacrifice into His people.
God’s severe instruction for dealing with someone who has dreams or receives messages that come true and who performs miracles is sobering. It was not a problem for a prophet or dreamer outside the Levitical community to perform miracles or have visions. It became a problem if that person spoke out against the Creator and Redeemer revealed in the Bible or spoke for a false god.
Last week, we read Moses told the people over and over that they were to destroy all the places where the people of the land worshipped their gods. He told the people that after they destroy all the places (מָקוֹם maqom, Strong’s lexicon No. H4725) the people of the land worship their gods, they were to be thoughtful about what place they use to make their offerings and kill their food animals. In the rest of chapter 12, Moses told Israel there will come a time when there will be only one place where the people will be allowed to present sacrificial animals to the Lord.
Tithing, or setting aside for God a 10th of your income, is becoming a more common fixture in Christian denominations and congregations, with the common application of the commandment being the giving of tithe to a church. However, it is largely misunderstood because a major purpose for the “Old Testament” commandment about tithe is ignored as an obsolete Old Testament teaching.